Coccygectomy September 2 & feeling good

Noel - noelerobinson@yahoo.com

Posted 2008-09-14

I will make this short and sweet. I am a 40 year old (used to be quite active) female with 2 little boys (4 & 6). I did it all, a ski accident, snowboard accident and childbirth. I lived with excruciating pain for 4 years. I tried chiropractic, physical therapy (internal manipulations), injections & pain drugs. Nothing worked & my quality of life was diminished.

I found Dr. Benson of University of California- Davis (Spine center) on this site. Unfortunately Dr. Benson is retiring and no longer doing surgery. Dr. Rudolf Schrot (Neurosurgeon) (see Doctors and specialists in the USA) of UC Davis has taken over for Dr. Benson. I was hesitant because I was his 2nd coccygectomy but I did it on September 2, 2008. The surgery was quick (the bottom 2 segments were removed) and I was discharged the next day. The staff at UC Davis were fantastic. I walked out of the hospital with no problem.

I am healing at home. MUCH more mobile than I anticipated. The raised toilet seat and stool softeners are key. I don't have a stomach for vicodin so I am taking 50 mg of Ultram. I must say that I am not having much pain though. I am being cautious and resting for now and do feel tenderness around the incision. I am too paranoid to sit down for too long but I had instant relief in my lower back after the surgery.

I promise to follow up with my progress. I was VERY hesitant about this surgery (it took me 4 years to do it) but so far so great. Please feel free to contact me at noelerobinson@yahoo.com with any questions. I am very hopeful for getting my active lifestyle back.

Many thanks to Jon for creating this site, I truly don't know what I would have done without it!

Update, 2008-09-21

Had 2 week post-op appointment today. Dr. Schrot said the incision site is healing well & looks good. I can only sit for about 10-15 minutes with a tush-cush or donut but was told today that this should improve in 1-3 months.

I do feel stronger every day. I have been off any pain meds since Day 10. I am going to take the 50 mg of Ultram to try and get a more restful night of sleep as I flip back and forth from side to side (still can't lay on back comfortably for a long time). I have been given the go ahead to drive and resume normal activities within reason. Next appointment is in 3 months.

Still hopeful and looking forward to a full recovery. I will continue to update and please feel free to contact me.

Update, 2008-10-12 - now 5+ weeks post-op - A NEW WOMAN

WOW! All I can say is that I am a new woman. Today I went on a 4 mile hike with a nice incline pain free. I am 5 weeks post-op. I have had no infection (did pop a stitch around 2 weeks but it is healing itself & no real pain issues) or problems. 2 weeks post-op I was back to the busy life of a Mom of 2 little boys. It took a few days to get back into the groove but pain did not inhibit me.

My incision site is tender when I drive too much. I should say that I started driving at 2 weeks post-op & it might have been a week too early. The tenderness to the area is subsiding but I do try to rest the area also. The pain I feel is just from the surgery, the coccyx pain is GONE. I have not taken any pain meds since week 3.

I don't have another Dr. appt until December & I can't wait to hug both Dr. Schrot and Nurse Mandy. I must reiterate that I was so reluctant to do this. I did EVERYTHING for 4 years to avoid it. I now wish I would have done it 4 years ago.

I am hoping that my story does convince people that if you are a likely candidate for this surgery (determined by your surgeon) and you have an experienced surgeon, it works!!!

Update, 2010-07-11

I thought it only appropriate that I update my progress from October 2008. My two year surgery anniversary is approaching and I wanted to share how successful my coccygectomy was.

Dr. Randolph Schrott at UC Davis Spinecenter (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, California) (he is a Neurosurgeon) performed my surgery & I have had a complete recovery & more success than I could ever imagine.

Close your eyes & imagine this...... I mountain bike ride regularly, mow our 6 acres on a RIDE-ON mower, LOVE going on long road trips with my family, skied 41 days last year, have better posture from no longer having to contort my body to avoid pain, kayak.... I could go on & on.

Bottom line is I have ZERO tailbone pain. Furthermore I have many back issues (bulging discs, facet disease, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis) BUT I haven't had any flare ups in the past year due to my absent coccyx (everything would lock up when I was having coccyx issues).

Please feel free to write with any questions about my experience & surgery. Best wishes & good health to those of your that are suffering. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

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